Will Hillary Cave on the Recounts While Jill Stein Saves the Day?
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
Hillary Clinton's victory in the 2016 presidential popular vote count keeps climbing. According to the New York Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/us/politics/vote-count-hillary-clinton-trump.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news ) it's now well over 2 million votes.
Meanwhile Jill Stein's grassroots fundraising tally to force recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where the election actually could be decided, is now over $4 million, according to CBS News. ( http://www.cbsnews.com/news/does-jill-steins-recount-effort-have-any-chance/ ) Donations are coming to: https://jillstein.nationbuilder.com/recount
Which will matter more?
A swing of well under 200,000 votes in those three states could shift the Electoral College from Trump to Clinton. All three are fraught with irregularities. So are swing states Florida and North Carolina, which are also very close, but which thus far are being left without recounts.
Clinton and the Democrats are being swamped by public requests that they demand recounts and pay for them. One of the many petitions appears at www.solartopia.org. So far there has been no response from Clinton or the party.
But Stein and the Greens have come forward to pay for the recounts themselves. A torrent of small donations is pouring in, echoing those that supported the Bernie Sanders campaign. Stein estimates that with legal fees, the challenges could cost up to $7 million for the three states.
The filing deadline for a recount in Wisconsin is today. The Green Party filing is underway there.
There has been little or no public discussion of recounts in the US Senate races in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Missouri, where exit polls show Democrats winning Senate seats with razor-thin margins. A swing of those three seats would swing control of the US Senate for this coming term---and possibly on the US Supreme Court for decades to come. Presidential margins are also extremely close in Florida and North Carolina, where exit polls showed Clinton winning. Stein was on the ballot in Florida, but not North Caroilna.
With some 2,000,000 votes still uncounted in California alone, Clinton's public triumph over Donald Trump could reach 2.5 million votes or more. Such a margin would dwarf John Kennedy's in 1960 (by a factor of more than fifteen), Richard Nixon's in 1968 (by a factor of more than four) and Al Gore's in 2000 (by a factor of five).
Had this election been held in a foreign country, the State Department would not certify it. ( http://columbusfreepress.com/article/why-united-states-state-department-would-not-certify-trump's-election-legitimate ) .
Greg Palast (gregpalast.com) and others report that computer programs like Crosscheck have been used to strip several million mostly black/Hispanic/Asian-American/Muslim citizens from the voter rolls in some 30 or more other states. Bev Harris, Jon Simon and others report that the electronic vote counts in numerous states throughout the country are highly suspect ( http://blackboxvoting.org ).
Computer expert J. Alex Halderman ( https://medium.com/@jhalderm/want-to-know-if-the-election-was-hacked-look-at-the-ballots-c61a6113b0ba#.lipwzqp61 ) and election attorney John Bonifaz have joined many others in calling for recounts.
In 2000, Gore won the national vote by more than 500,000 ballots. A full recount in Florida would have given him Florida's Electoral votes and the presidency. But the Supreme Court's 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision stopped the recount.
In Ohio 2004, US Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and US Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-Cleveland, since deceased) challenged Ohio's Electoral College delegation. More than 300,000 citizens were stripped from Ohio's registration rolls and more 100,000 votes remain uncounted from an election officially decided by 118,775. Despite a federal court order, no legitimate recount has ever been held.
Neither Gore nor Kerry has ever supported investigations the massive irregularities surrounding the 2000 and 2004 elections. Kerry had raised a $7,000,000 legal fund to protect the 2004 balloting, but never allocated any of it to an independent investigation.
This year the incumbent Republican Governor of North Carolina lost the popular vote in his re-election bid, but may use a loophole in state law so the Republican-controlled legislature can keep him in office.
Few commentators doubt what Trump's GOP would be doing now had they won the popular vote but were behind in the Electoral College, or in those key Senate races.
As much as $100,000/hour has been pouring into the Greens' fund for those recounts ( https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/23/jill-stein-election-recount-fund-michigan-wisconsin-pennsylvania ) at a time when Clinton and the Democrats could pay for them in a matter of moments.
But Stein and the Greens have vowed to do those recounts. At very least they'll shine a light on how our elections are conducted.
Whether the Democrats will help, and whether the results can change history, remains to be seen.
Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman's THE STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016: FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT is at www.freepress.org and www.solartopia.org, along with Bob's FITRAKIS FILES and Harvey's SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH.